Is Wireless N worth getting since its still a draft standard?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by techmonkey, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. techmonkey macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I store my media on my windows machine and external drive hooked to it. I have a lag when viewing files on my MacBook Pro. Wireless N is claimed to be up to 15x faster. Since its still a draft spec, is it worth getting? Does it really increase the speed 10-15x for transferring files over the network? It seems like the draft N spec has been out for years, when will they finalize it?
     
  2. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    #2
    well, one problem is if you use the AP in dual band mode it cuts your speed in half, from 300 to 150 or something like that

    so keep that in mind
     
  3. bcaslis macrumors 68020

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    #3
    My "draft" base station transferred a 1.27GB file to my "draft" MBP in about 4 minutes. Seems worth it to me.
     
  4. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Ouch. I have a wireless g laptop for my wife. So you are saying that I would only get 1/2 the speed that the wireless n can handle? Does this only happen when she connects to the network or is this setting all the time?
     
  5. yaddam205 macrumors member

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    #5
  6. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    #6
    ...did you not read my post?

    when you use dual band it cuts the speed in half

    and yes, its all the time when in dual band mode, unless you want to turn dual band on and off when shes not using it i know thats how it is on the airport express im assuming its the same for every dual band N ap
     
  7. operator207 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    The way I read the OP's post, is that he is not really complaining about speed, he is complaining about response to opening a file remotely.

    One thing to think of, your lag may be the inherent lag in wireless. Some people do not see this, or they do not realize/care its there. Speed and response time are 2 totally different things.

    If the lag your referring to is just opening a 10kb file, no amount of upgrade to a faster wireless protocol is going to fix that. Unless your wireless' max speed is 10kb/sec, then maybe it will be faster. But if thats the case, you have some serious interference going on in your area.
     
  8. Jestered macrumors 6502

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    #8
    If you create a network that is b/g/n compatible, then yes you will always be running at half speed. And I think it is 130, so it is more than half.

    There is a way around this. I have the Airport Extreme base and wanted to get full n speeds, but I also have a wife who has a Powerbook that is not n compatible, and also an iPhone that needs a g network... So, I set the Airport Extreme base to be an n only network, getting full 300 speed, and I connected my airport express (b/g network) hardwired to the extreme base. I set the slower router to be in bridge mode and the faster router is handling all ip addressing. It works perfectly.

    Something that I was surprised to find out with this setup is that my wife, connected to the g network, can access the air disks that are on the n router. I can even print to the g network printer even though I am on the n network. I can also access the airtunes speakers on the slower network even though I am on the n network.

    I hope that makes sense.
     
  9. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    #9
    the thing i really dont understand, and maybe im just missing something but wireless N is 300mb/s and the airport express only has a 100mb/s network connector..whats up with that?
     
  10. mike12806 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    well...its 300 (more like 270 Mbps), in 5 ghz N. Otherwise, in 2.4 ghz N you get 130 Mbps. Also, 5 ghz on my airport extreme and iMac drops CONSTANTLY!
     
  11. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I was actually thinking about doing this. In my case, I have a new Netgear router and an old Netgear router. I have to check if my old Netgear router can run in bridge mode. Is this necessary?
     
  12. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    The files I access over the network are mainly pictures, music, and video. Music and video access speeds arent that bad, since its mainly streaming them. Pictures access is slow no matter what program I use to view them. Most of my images are around 1-2MB in file size.
     
  13. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
  14. TheIguana macrumors 6502a

    TheIguana

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    #14
    300 mbps is the theoretically maximum of 802.11N in both spectrums. In real life situations you will be very lucky if you reach 150 mbps in either spectrum. The major shift with 802.11 has been the shift from 20 Mhz channels to 40 Mhz channels, this offers more bandwidth (hence the "300" mbps) but fewer channels. This is why it may seem faster in 5ghz operation. The only advantage to using the 5 Ghz spectrum right now is it is relatively uncrowded contrast to the 2.4 Ghz spectrum (ie. less interference from other routers, less packet loss, faster connections). As more people start buying 5 Ghz wireless routers over time, this situation will change.
     
  15. yaddam205 macrumors member

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    #15
    I did, I posted dual frequency (dual-band) routers.

    If you have a standard N router you share the same frequency if you mix the frequency. Dual-Band routers have both a 5g and 2.4g output.
     
  16. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    UPDATE:

    So I hooked up the new router tonight. I configured it for max speed, which is "Up to 270 Mbps". This setting only allows 802.11 N devices to access it. I setup my MacBook Pro to see the new router and opened up the Network Utility to see my connection speed. The speed states 130 Mbps. I did a test with the large file I had, 1.9 GB transferred in 10min. I did the same test earlier today with my old router and had the exact speed, even though Network Utility stated the speed was 56 Mbps. I then tried viewing my photographs and it was still slow, same as before, about 2-3 sec lag between viewing a group of photos.

    Any ideas? Why is my connection speed higher but non of the transfers changed?
     
  17. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #17
    Where are you loading those photos from? Airdisk? Other computer with 802.11g card? Or what?
     
  18. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Those files are stored on my WinXP machine which is connected to the router via a wired connection.
     
  19. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #19
    Over 100 Mbit or 1 Gbit Ethernet?
     
  20. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    100
     
  21. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #21
    So what speeds are you getting?
     
  22. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I posted some that info a couple of post up.
     
  23. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #23
    So about 3 MB/sec? Sounds rather low for N network.

    I get 6-9 MB/sec when moving files from iMac (ethernet 100mbit) to MacBook (802.11n) and when accessing files on AirDisk from MacBook.

    But I'm using AirPort Extreme station.
     
  24. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #24
    According to a Wikipedia entry, the final version should be decided upon next year. But the problem is you really kind of have a vague question. What do you mean by "Is it worth getting?"

    I'm running mixed mode, so I apparently don't get the full use of it (up to 300Mbps). But I can still tell it's faster than 802.11g when transferring files.

    What you should do is buy an Airport Extreme Base Station and hook the hard drive up to it. I have 2 HDDs attached to mine that store all of my HandBraked movies & TV shows. I had a lag problem before that caused the video to stop about every 6 seconds when playing on my MBP, but that didn't happen with my Apple TV unit. Anyway, that problem has magically disappeared. This way, you aren't relying on crap on the Windows machine to possibly slow down your connection. Hooking the hard drive up to the AEBS removes "weakest link" possibilities and should speed you up. It will also keep you from needing to have the Windows PC on for file transfers.
     
  25. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Is my math correct? If it takes me 10 min to transfer 1.9GB, thats around 26.5 Mbps.
     

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